Released in 1999, The X-Files Game arrived in the midst of the FMV craze in the late '90s. As such, a fair amount of resources were poured into it, cutting 6 hours of footage down to a mere 7-CD game. Investigate the disappearance of Agents Mulder and Scully by clicking everything that moves and some things that don't, and be really glad there's a cutscene skip option.
Best time: Single-segment 0:12:44 by Bryan 'bpcookie' Powell on 2011-03-30.
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First of all, you can enable cut-scene skips in the options, so that right-clicking skips the current movie. But there's a caveat to this: you have to right-click in the viewing area, which is letterboxed. This may not seem like a big deal, but it makes a significant difference over the course of the whole run, because of the positioning of dialogue windows. Generally, only the first option in the dialogue tree is within the viewing window, so there are times when I say something that doesn't need to be said just because it's faster than scrolling past it.
The basic premise of the gameplay is that the story moves forward after X conditions have been met. These conditions are typically asking the right people the right things, finding evidence, and submitting evidence to the crime lab. There are several optional dialogue options/actions/etc, so obviously the idea is to figure out which ones are necessary.
Travel between areas is done via the PDA. You can activate the travel menu by clicking on an exit door/car/etc, but it's not necessary. You can click the PDA in your inventory from anywhere in an area and travel, or you can use it to warp back to the entry point of an area you're already in.
--Day 1 (April 2)--
Moving past Cook in the beginning without picking a response is not only faster, but it somehow prevents the unnecessary letter from being on your desk. This is good because if the letter is there and you don't read it, the game crashes. The notorious password puzzle can be skipped by right-clicking the 'o' in the word "Welcome" at the login screen. (If you're curious, the password is "shiloh".) While I'm here, I go ahead and search the phone # of the warehouse, which adds the location to my PDA. Oddly, you can't go there until you've visited the Inn, but just driving up to the Inn unlocks the warehouse. Doesn't matter anyway, because you have to get Scully's laptop. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Visiting my office first is slightly faster, even though I have to backtrack to the supplies. I skip the camera and the flashlight, because you don't need them. You only have to say things 2-4 to Skinner, but I hit the first one because it's in the window and faster to just get it out of the way. This is a recurring theme throughout the run. You only have to say the last thing to Shanks, but you can't leave until he tells you to give your cases to Cook. Note that when I target Shanks, the dialogue option I need hasn't even been generated by the game yet! That's when I know I'm fast. It looks like I'm taking an unnecessary step out of Cook's office, but you have to do that to trigger the dialogue with Skinner to unlock the Inn.
Not much you have to do here. Show her the badge and ask to see the room. Snag Scully's laptop. Since I already searched the warehouse number, I don't have to get the phone info from the desk clerk. That saves a good bit of time.
I would love to interview Wong first, but he's not there until you break into the warehouse with Skinner. The game won't let you go up and get the crowbar without either nightvision goggles or a flashlight. Here's another situation where a game crash gets in the way. From the crowbar room, I would like to use the PDA to warp back to the front, but the game crashes if I try to access the PDA anywhere in the dark area, which is why I backtrack out a little. But at least I get to skip a little scene with Skinner. You only have to talk to Wong about 2 things + the fish, so I do that and PDA warp again. I get the evidence pretty quickly and head back to Skinner. After I discuss all with Skinner, I have to run outside (warp doesn't work here) and chase off the car before we can leave.
Crime lab is great because you can submit all the evidence at once and it just stacks the queue of response videos. In and out in a few seconds.
Talk to Skinner about everything, then he leaves. Get rid of Cook with the minimal dialogue choices, unlocking the night session.
-Dockside Warehouse (night)-
Finally, my clicking muscles get a breather. Can't skip this cutscene, and if I leave, they'd kill me. From here I can either stay where I am until they leave, or run around the side and watch them leave from inside. Either way, I'm sitting through another unskippable cutscene, but as it turns out, it's about 5 seconds faster overall to go inside. The game crashes here if I access the PDA in the warehouse, so I have to dart outside to leave.
I love that the opening credits are still rolling. I use the credits here to get a sense of how well I'm doing to this point. William B. Davis pops up here, which is amazing. Normally I'm on my way to get the crowbar in the daytime when his name pops up. I think that whoever replaces this run one day will have the credits still rolling in the second day.
Go home and hit the sack.
--Day 2 (April 3)--
Wake up and head out.
I hate this segment so I get it out of the way. I don't know why but it's hard to skip all the cutscenes. If you don't do all this stuff with Cook, it won't trigger the Amis email and the Apartment event later. It's funny though, if you don't help him, he'll lie there all day and pretend to be hurt, even if you go do all the other stuff and come back.
Poor Wong is dead. Glad I didn't really get to know him. Mow through the coroner dialogue to unlock Astadorian. She takes me to the boat. I go in and look at the slicker and the drugs to unlock those dialogue options. Have to discuss all with her and with the captain to unlock the Tarakan.
In addition to getting the sphere, you have to look at the emblem on one of the crates to unlock the end of Tarakan. I could PDA warp out of the hold here, but the starting point isn't very convenient, either, so I don't bother.
This is the first of three segments that really annoy me because of the amount of clicking required. There's also Smolnikoff's Warehouse and the base at the end of the game. It's not so much the amount of clicking as it is the ambiguity of the pathing. When you're in a hurry, it's easy to get confused in these places.
It seems like every time I do this run, for some reason I do this segment differently. In particular with the bullet. You can pull it off the table yourself or get it by asking her about it in the dialogue tree. This time I just plowed through her dialogue, which is faster. And I had the presence of mind to skip the drugs this time, which I often forget to do.
Another quick trip to the Crime Lab. Reminds me of Family Guy when they cut to Ollie on the news.
I'm not sure why this can only happen in your apartment. I guess they only decided to film it one way. I could get the Amis email from the field office, but this is fine because it takes awhile for Cook to knock on the door anyway. I almost went to bed after Cook left, but then I remembered I have to go to the warehouse again.
-Dockside Warehouse (night)-
Not much to do this time. Hop in the truck, get the paper, and hop out. This time I can skip the cutscene of him leaving.
--Day 3 (April 4)--
Rush through dialogue and video with Astadorian and head to Charno.
It's a trap! Pretty uneventful when you skip everything. I get the book, get accosted, locked in, and bust out in a matter of moments. I sneak in the kiss attempt on Astadorian.
Quick stop. For some reason, I only have to say the first thing to unlock the ability to sleep.
--Day 4 (April 5)--
Wake up, head out.
The first dialogue option with Cook is fortunately all that's required to unlock the raid.
I hate this area because it's so hard to navigate in a hurry. I play the shooting gallery and get to Smolnikoff, only to have to backtrack to the beginning immediately thereafter. Annoying.
Hey Ollie, what's this?
It's a gun!
The game conveniently puts me back at Smolnikoff now. Talk to Smolnikoff about everything. No need to talk to Cook.
I'm just going to chill at my apartment in the middle of the day. Fortunately, that's where Astadorian came to fuss at me. Get rid of her quickly and go to bed.
--Day 5 (April 6)--
Up and out to meet X.
-Sand Point Hangar 4-
Don't mess with X. He'll kill you over nothing. He looks especially annoyed that I'm trying to speedrun him. Get the Stiletto and get out.
Scully's on the mend after getting shot. Once you've mentioned Skinner to the nurse, you can pass her. Scully wants to know who sent you. Notice one option is to say "A black man." Ohhhhh, a black man sent you! Yes, I know a black man, why didn't you say so? Come on in! That's pretty racist, Craig. Talking to Scully about everything unlocks the train yard for some reason, even though you already knew about it.
-Rural Route 1121-
A little weird adventure game logic here. You can't look in the train car until you climb up the pole and use the binoculars to ID it as the one you're looking for. We bring our nocs to the crossroads, Gabe! You don't get anything from the car, but you have to exit it to trigger the surprisingly personable and articulate homeless guy who inexplicably has a videotape you need. You have to play a little guessing game with him to get it (for some reason).
They conveniently start you at your desk. I pop in the videotape, ID Rauch, and quickly dispense of the Lone Gunmen.
I have a cup of tea with Mulder in the attic, then for some reason go face the men with guns who are waiting patiently for me. Fortunately, they barely notice me murdering them both. Thanks to MortyreR45 for pointing out that I could just kill these two guys. In my previous attempts, I was escaping into the woods.
The minimal amount of interaction here is to trigger the scene with Mulder, shoot one generic guard, meet Scully in the back room, go back and open the door, and then meet Scully for the ending sequence. It was awhile before I realized that you don't have to do the bit with Cook in the medical room at all. My friend Kyle pointed out that I could have gone right at the end instead of left and probably saved a few clicks. The game is over at the moment I throw the Stiletto to Scully, which I do at 12:47. Since I start the game at 0:03, that leaves me with a time of 12:44 by my count.
I'm really happy with this run. Almost no mistakes. But there's really no limit to how much the run could be improved by faster clicking. That's why it's soul-crushingly difficult to speedrun this type of game, because you're not bound by the limitations of a real-time game engine. It's just a constant blitz of activity. Imagine how difficult it would be to speedrun a Metroid or Zelda game if you could move and attack infinitely quickly. But I digress.
It's no secret I'm far from the fastest clicker. I'm very much in favor of someone improving this run in the future. A sub-10:00 run would blow my mind. Get to it!
Thanks to Mike, Nate, and all the people who run SDA, which is a great site, and to the SDA community, and all the people who bothered to verify a hectic run of such an obscure game.
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